Apr 17, 2014
The long, cold winter months have affected consumer buying behaviors and hindered economic growth, but as warmer weather looms right around the corner, industry experts believe the everyday donor will be more inclined to give.
Springtime is a great opportunity for nonprofits to take advantage of increasing consumer confidence. However, frigid weather can often reflect any organization's fundraising efforts as benefactors put a temporary freeze on winter donations after the holidays. An unsuccessful stretch of collection efforts doesn't necessarily equate to a cause for concern because a modestly growing economic atmosphere may lead to more nonprofits that accept online donations in the coming months.
Listed below are three ways to jumpstart a spring fundraising effort on the coattails of a downtrodden winter:
- Don't point fingers, look inward: An unfortunate reality in the nonprofit sector is that sometimes there just isn't enough funding to go around. That's not to say the well is completely dried up, but a charity needs to implement more creative ways to drive traffic to its online donation form. If traditional fundraising methods didn't work in the months prior, it may be a telling sign that your nonprofit should look elsewhere or use different modes of communication in fundraising efforts. The NonProfit Times compares donation outreach to the likes of writing an essay: There's not necessarily a black and white, right or wrong answer. Rather, groups conduct multiple drafts and fine tune methodology until it's improved to their liking.
- Reassess current objectives: Similar to amending an essay, a nonprofit can reinvigorate its fundraising efforts by adjusting current organizational objectives. Industry website npENGAGE recommends charities ask a few distinct questions during a reassessment of goals. For example, if volunteers find themselves putting in work yet questioning the results, it's most likely time for adjustments. Also, if employees realize there are aspects of their jobs that should be easier, there's probably a solution to streamline these facets - all it takes is a little communication.
- Act on the outcomes: Once an organization identifies what's been troubling them for the past few months, immediate action must be taken. Whether it's increasing training efforts, bolstering online fundraising tools or tracking data relevant to your organization such as Web page traffic or social media interaction, charities that have experienced a decrease in donations cannot afford to systematically plan out new goals over a long period of time. A strong mix of short-term objectives - which can be planned in little time - and long-term targets will better ensure sustainable nonprofit fundraising success.